WIX website builder Platform is one of the leaders in the website builder industry. According to W3TECH data, it is one of the top 3 competitors in the website builder market. In the created ranking, this platform occupies the 3nd place – a leading position.
The WIX platform is presented as free, modern and feature-rich. The method of creating sites in WIX is drag-and-drop – a standard one for platforms in its category. According to the authors of the platform, the purpose of the platform is to provide the possibility of creating a website without the need to write HTML, CSS, JS code.
The number of customers, the popularity of the platform, big development plans as well as continuous improvement – everything contributes to the appearance of a very promising product.
But, the question arises whether this popularity of the WIX site builder comes from the performance of the platform or from the marketing actions organized by the company? To give an objective answer to this question, it is worth analyzing the opinions of WIX users.
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What does it look like to create websites with the help of the WIX website builder?
WIX as a platform is very user friendly. This is highly appreciated by people who have had the experience of creating sites in other CMS programs. People creating websites for the first time will also feel this.
The positive opinions about the WIX platform are primarily related to the extremely clear interface. No one should have difficulty understanding what to do.
What does the site creation itself look like?
There is enough freedom to add elements to the site, arrange them and edit them (more detail below). We found no constraints on the placement of elements on the site. Adding these elements is easy using the drag-and-drop method.
There is an option to use a template or a clean page. Interestingly, even the clean web page includes several options: completely clean, split into columns, sections, etc. The number of templates is quite large – more than 500 – leading in this regard among the programs in our ranking.
But we must mention, that editing a template does not allow its subsequent change without losing the applied changes. So it’s good to make sure you’ve chosen the right template before making any major changes. Otherwise you will have to start all over again.
What are the advantages of the WIX platform?
The editor works pretty fast and is pretty well optimized if we talk about the interface. But the loading speed of the editor and publishing of the site can take quite a long time, even for small projects.
WIX works like any other website builder – based on the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) technique. This means that the site in the editor looks the same as in the published version. You don’t have to work on endless fixes, checking code, or switching from one work mode to another.
It is worth mentioning that the site in edit mode is initially divided into 3 parts: the top part (usually with the menu included), the site content and the footer. This initial structure greatly simplifies the editing of the site.
WIX Code and WIX ADI – pros and cons
These represent two new, quite important functions – a fact that I could not omit in this review.
WIX Code – is simply a plug-in of the drag-and-drop editor with an HTML code editor, albeit in a rather simplified way. But this does not change the fact that this function offers advanced possibilities – so advanced that not all users know how to use it. Also – the way the WIX Code function works is reminiscent in many ways of the simple HTML Native Code element and interactions.
ADI – Artificial Design Intelligence. Everything looks pretty good, but the way it works is very reminiscent of a simple website builder. Of course, everything looks good and allows for fairly deep, though not full, editing. – according to freelancers’ opinions.
What is missing in the WIX website builder?
I identified 2 features that I really missed: element grouping and layer list. These functions are quite advanced and can only be found in the WebWave platform and other high-performance site builders.
The lack of grouping function makes it difficult to work with a larger number of elements. Of course there is the option of containers (a special shape, which groups / includes other shapes and elements), but actually the way this element works is quite cumbersome.
The start list allows you to easily change the position of elements in the order they overlap – very useful when working with a more advanced project with a larger number of elements. Although WIX offers the ability to work with layers through Set Back or Set Forward functions, the lack of a list of layers is felt by the lack of clarity regarding the position of elements.
The lack of these 2 elements suggests that the creation of sites in WIX is actually more limited than it seems at first glance, and the users of the website builder do not really have the opportunity or perhaps the desire to develop the site.
The elasticity and possibilities of the WIX website builder
As we mentioned we can add a very large number of functions and elements to the site.
WIX has prepared a large number of editing options for these elements. This gives the feeling that the sites created with WIX builder are very advanced. But there are also weaker points. This is what the list of accessible elements looks like in the WIX website builder
- Texts (regular, headings, paragraphs)
- Images (both files and images from Facebook or Instagram accounts)
- Galleries (regular, 3D, sliders)
- Buttons (several dozen ready-made button projects)
- Fields (Regular, patterned fields or containers mentioned above)
- Stripes (classic, parallax + some additional types)
- Shapes (lines, arrows, icons, banners, decorative shapes)
- Video files (from Youtube or Vimeo)
- Music files (WIX offers a wide range of audio players for audio files + integrations with external systems: SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes)
- Social media plugins (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, VK, Spotify).
- Contact modules (forms, Skype, subscription fields, Google maps).
- Site menu (patterned, vertical, horizontal, anchor menu)
- Lists (messages, events, product and service references, staff)
- Online store (you can add payment modules for which you need to activate an additional plan – e-commerce functions in Wix are described below)
- HTML code (HTML, CSS, JS, Flash)
- Login fields (for simple users and administrators)
- PayPal payment options
- Anchors (elements that will always be displayed on top)
This list is impressive, and this is not the end.
The possibilities of the WIX platform, to which we must draw attention
First of all – we have a large number of elements, which we can add to the site to increase the functionality and attractiveness of the site. Many of these items are presented as connected apps.
When we add some movies, we can choose an app that will display the movies as a slider with movie thumbnails (it will be the same with YouTube movies).
We also need to mention the huge number of free templates. These templates are categorized thematically, which is a considerable simplification for users who want to create a simple presentation site.
WIX templates can be adjusted for mobile devices quite easily, thanks to the Mobile Friendly features. However, we remind you that it is necessary to check the mobile version whenever we make changes on the Desktop. Otherwise the mobile version may become less optimized for mobile devices.
But if you need to create something more or transfer a specific project, you will understand that you are missing certain functions, and designing the site based on a clean page does not offer enough possibilities.
There are a lot of possibilities. What’s more – most of them are free. You also have access to a large base of external applications that you can test / buy.
Here, however, appears that contradiction with the slogan of creating a free site with the help of the WIX platform. The actual possibilities of the site-maker program differ depending on whether or not you are ready to pay for banking applications or e-commerce functions.
Online store created with the WIX website builder platform
I mentioned the e-commerce module. It is an option that many companies that want to go in the direction of online sales must consider.
The e-commerce module can be added to the site as an integral element of the site. So we have to admit that the platform offers more than just an e-commerce platform.
However, this does not change the fact that the construction of the online store, the template and the way the products are presented look professional.
You can very easily add an online payment system – but this will be PayPal or bank card. Moreover, we can edit the pages related to the purchase process: the product subpage, of the shopping cart, the thank you subpage for the purchase made.
It is a rare option, even on specialized e-commerce platforms.
The WIX online store, however, has its weak points. Creating the online store in WIX depends on choosing a higher (therefore more expensive) plan, more precisely the eCommerce plan.
WIX does not deduct any commission on customer purchases, but you must activate the eCommerce plan mentioned above.
However, this does not change the fact that the online store created in WIX is not a full e-commerce solution. This type of online stores offers only a part of the possibilities of specialized e-commerce platforms.
So if you don’t need advanced and developed e-commerce functions (we see the advantage of the Shopify and Presta platforms here) and you are satisfied with the narrow range of payment options (PayPal) offered by WIX then these functions can be enough.
SEO optimization of sites created in WIX
Wix has worked hard so that its site builder can provide all the necessary functions for SEO, positioning and analytics. It even has its own SEO program that helps position the site in search results.
We get access to a lot of SEO settings both for the whole site and for specific subpages: from meta tags and keywords to links. If you want, you can hide the whole site (or part of it) from Google robots.
It’s very easy to set up 301 redirects or get recommendations from WIX experts on site positioning or choosing a suitable domain name.
However, we note that many users complain that although the platform offers many SEO options, it often happens that Google does not notice the site or skips the site in the case of searches for a suitable keyword. These views persist: we can see them both a few years ago and a few months ago. It’s important to keep this in mind, especially since your website’s visibility in search results is quite important.
This, however, does not change the fact that the WIX – SEO Hero contest – demonstrated that sites created on their platform are positioned better. From the opinions that appear on forums abroad, we can see that the problem of positioning sites created in WIX is a general problem.
What does WIX Technical Support look like?
The negative opinions of users towards WIX are specifically related to this aspect.
Technical support is generally limited to a contact form, where we choose the subject or a direct email. Due to the large number of customers, the response time is long and the contact is in English. To benefit from this support you need to pay for one of the premium plans.
The next thing I would like to mention are the recommendations that appear during the creation of the site in WIX. The website builder provides solutions and explains how the features work in a pretty clear way.
The same situation is with the video tutorials, on Youtube (but which have not changed during the last 2 years, which proves the insufficient administration of the Youtube channel).
The program includes a very long list of key combinations that greatly simplify work in the program, and the company is active in social networks, but exclusively in English.
How much does a website created with the WIX platform cost?
The WIX platform includes, in addition to the free plan, 5 premium plans. Of course, if you want to create a real website, you need to activate one of these plans.
The Free plan offers quite a few options. Of course there are certain constraints related to the storage space on the servers and the traffic volume. But if you’re just starting out and aren’t creating a site with many subpages, this shouldn’t be a problem.
As with most companies that offer free tools, WIX in the Free version keeps its logo on the site. Also in the Free version you have to keep the subdomain address instead of your own domain.
Premium plans are not expensive and offer quite a wide range of possibilities. The basic benefits you get are: connecting your own domain, more data traffic and more storage space. The more expensive plans also offer access to applications such as Visitor Analytics or Site Booster.
For activation and extension of premium plans it is possible with debit, credit cards. Bank transfers or PayPal payments are not available. This means, the money will be deducted automatically for the extension of the corresponding premium plan.
Prices range from $5 to $24 per month. However, we need to remember that if we want to launch an online store, we will need to activate one of the most expensive 2 premium plans.
The cheaper plans don’t offer much, but still present serious competition to similar platforms like Weebly or Webflow. But compared to other platforms like WebWave the prices are not the most advantageous. See details in the corresponding article.
But it doesn’t change the fact that the cheapest plan doesn’t remove the banner ad (!). To enjoy an ad-free site in WIX (and to have more storage space, customize the favicon and increase the volume of traffic on the site) you need to pay.
The option to activate one of the premium plans for 1 month is quite convenient for many users, but it does not provide access to the free domain, Vouchers and premium applications. In other words, the term of 1 and 2 years for the subscription are much more advantageous.
In this part of the review I have to point out one more important aspect. There is no possibility to export sites created in WIX. This option does not exist even if a certain amount of money will be paid. The transfer of sites created for clients is possible with the Transfer Ownership option, from the Dash board. Within this option you can simply enter the customer’s email address.
What kind of websites you can create with the help of the WIX website builder?
Rather a simple one. Unfortunately, this is a major problem with this platform – you quickly create a site, but if you want to develop or expand it, you will notice that you have limited possibilities.
The problem occurs when publishing and serving sites. We can of course say that site-makers are for simple sites, but this is an enormous simplification because there are website builder platforms like WebWave or WebFlow that allow the creation of very advanced sites.
If we treat the WIX platform as a true website creation tool, then we need to remember what we can do in WIX. The WIX editor has some drawbacks. WIX allows you to quickly create a simple website. But servicing a larger project can cause problems.
Creating a mobile-optimized website created in the WIX website builder
In WIX until recently you could create a mobile or mobile-friendly site. But editing only 2 RWD modes is a major problem, especially from the perspective of today’s requirements.
Recently, the possibility to adjust the site for an additional responsive mode has appeared, a fact that emerges from today’s trends. But editing the site in 3 ways creates difficulties when our site is displayed on a smartphone with a large screen. Additionally there is no possibility to edit breakpoints – which is a problem for graphic designers and UX specialists.
Opinions about WIX
They are unfortunately different, especially if users refer to the quality of the support or the stability of the editor.
There are also opinions about the stability issue of the WIX website builder.
Which does not change the fact that WIX is quite user friendly and generally allows you to create a lot of things.
Bottom Line: Is WIX Worth It?
The WIX program is definitely one of the best options on the market.
It successfully combines high functionality and multiple, modern options with good optimization, ease of use and ergonomics. Plus it is largely stable.
A huge advantage of the WIX site maker is that we can transfer our idea online without having to work on the site code. Plus, already while editing the site we see a clear picture of how the future site will look.
What are the disadvantages of the WIX platform? .
- The enormous number of negative opinions regarding the functioning of the editor, SEO and positioning functions. These aspects are very important, especially when it becomes important for us to attract customers within the Google search engine. In this case WIX may still be less effective.
- If we want to sell something through the website created in WIX, then we need to buy one of the more expensive plans. It is not a big disadvantage, but it generates negative emotions.
We also lack the advanced layer control feature. This feature would greatly simplify our work with advanced projects. I believe that any classy site-maker must have this feature. I hope these aspects will be improved in the near future.
WIX may seem like an overly extensive tool to first-time users, which would create a sense of overwhelm due to the sheer number of options and elements. This is especially important when the site created is a simple presentation site.
Let’s see how WIX looks against other website maker platforms.
It was not easy for me to find all the possibilities that the WIX website builder offers for each specific premium plan. I know you can do a lot, but the question is in which premium plan, how much will it cost you?
This is the paradox of the platform. In terms of possibilities, the score is quite high, and in terms of prices, it is one of the lowest.
In addition, I have identified certain shortcomings for this site builder, which I personally consider important: Lack of free access to the Head section for integrations and adding Schema.org codes. Because of this, we placed WIX as a website builder in second place, after the WebWave platform – see the review here.